by Stuart C
This step was, like every step before it, a surprise. At first reading I thought, "Whew, an easy one!" Yeah, right. Who was I kidding? None of the previous steps had come easy so why would Step six? There was something about the wording that implied ease. "Entirely ready." Yep, I'm entirely ready – but for what I thought? It had taken me nine years of SCA meetings and therapy to write a Fourth step, one month to dump it and now my sponsor was advising me I was "in" the sixth step. "In the sixth step?" I wondered – what does that mean? She said that the step would unfold and that all I had to do was relax, live and take action. "You're no longer the master of your ship," she said. I was confused. From taking the previous five Steps I'd come to think God had restored my desires for healthy living. I was wrong. Naturally, being the shame-based sex addict I tend to be, at first I didn't share my confusion with my sponsor. It seemed, like every other recovery lesson, I'd learn this one the hard way. Thank God, my higher power has a profound sense of humor and unending patience. You see, that was the element I was missing about this Step – the higher power.
The first five Steps showed me that my ego and pride were far larger then I'd assessed. Though I felt the relief of finally letting go of an aspect of my compulsive nature and ego, there was a growing desire, need, even demand for some kind of restoration of my power. Well, in the light and peace of the Fifth step restoration to self I jumped at the opportunity to assert myself anew. This time I did it with the force of recovery. Now I was clean, healthy and ready to live my life. I'd confessed my deepest darkest manipulative nature, came to own my sexual perversions and even got honest about how much money I stole during my addiction. Hell, I'd even admitted I hurt my parents and stopped playing the victim. I felt I'd earned my newfound health and was anxious to jump back into relationships and assert myself in a renewed way.
I asserted my new found self into living. Somewhat healthy dating entered my life. I lived like this for a few months, fueled by the spiritual peace of the Fifth step. Through a series of dating and work related interactions I started to feel like something wasn't quite right. It felt like someone was putting a huge spotlight inside my mind that was highlighting my character defects. I began to become conscious when I acted out my anger. It was becoming harder to deny my pride, sloth and self-pity. I'd thought all this crap went away when I turned over my Fifth step. Why were they still here? It wasn't pretty. A growing sense of doom and depression slowly covered my soul – silently I prayed for relief and silently I shamed myself for once again being "the worst sex addict of them all."
I finally told my sponsor what was happening. She laughed – I love when she does that! Anyway, she told me I was right on time and that the Higher Power was moving me through the Sixth step. She suggested I read it. I hated that. Anyway, I reluctantly read it. Slowly the words came through, "entirely ready to have GOD remove all these defects of character." It slowly dawned on me that the Sixth step was the same as the First step except it dealt with the character defects my addict uses to keep things hopping. In that painful awakening my head nodded in humility – Ok God, I accept you're the only force that can lift these behaviors and feelings and I'm ready for you to help me. My sponsor smiled when I told her what happened.